Montana legislators fail to override vetoes
By Tyler King
HELENA, Montana: Members of the Montana State Legislature were unable to override any of Governor Steve Bullock's vetoes during the 2013 legislative session. Votes on the final 19 Bullock vetoes were due with the Secretary of State's office by 5 p.m. on June 10. Overriding a veto takes a two-thirds majority of the total members in both the House and Senate. That requires a minimum of 67 votes in the 100-member House and 34 votes in the 50-member Senate. Since the adoption of Montana's 1972 constitution, 293 bills have been vetoed in 21 legislative sessions. A total of 149 have been vetoed in the last two years. Just one of those bills, vetoed in 1999, has been overridden.
In a column on The Laurel Outlook, Bullock wrote, "the 63rd Legislature passed a budget that spent over $20 million more than we’re taking in. As the legislators departed Helena, they left behind a budget that wasn’t balanced." He went on to add, "Keep in mind that if I pull out my veto pen, it might not be personal, it might just be fiscal." The full text of that column can be found here.